New Delhi: A unique initiative launched by Cyberabad Police to connect citizens through WhatsApp has come as an impactful effect.
While launching the WhatsApp number the police hardly thought that it would help them solve cases.
The BSNL number 9490617444 was launched on February 20 and 341 message complaints were received, including 152 complaints regarding law and order, sound pollution (15), public nuisance (33), missing persons (81), unknown dead bodies (23), crime complaints (36), crime information (36), traffic related (52), wrong or illegal parking (10), traffic violations (12), traffic jams (20), and accidents (10), miscellaneous complaints (101) and suggestions (53). The Cyberabad Police also gives an Action Taken Report via whatsapp to the complainant or message sender.
One side citizen helped police by uploading photos of traffic bottlenecks, illegal parking , other side citizens helped them to catch chain snatchers, robbers, and in one case, four missing children.
The success of this experiment prompted Cyberabad Police to appoint an Assistant Commissioner of Police (WhatsApp) to deal with the messages.
As quoted by Indian Express, ACP Ravindra Reddy, incharge of WhatsApp control station says, "On March 9, a private school at Yacharam sent a message that parents of four students, all aged 12, had complained to the school that their children had not returned home. They also sent photos of the kids which were forwarded to police stations in our jurisdiction and neighbouring areas. It so happened that the kids had decided to go on an adventure and spend couple of days on their own and they were picked up by Meerpet Police, hungry and scared to go home to face their parents".
Apart from these on March 10, Cyberabad Police's Whatsapp received a message from a person in Dundigal regarding a chain-snatching incident at Suraram Colony. The sender had managed to take photos of the chain-snatchers in the act and uploaded them. By the time the victim lodged a complaint at Dundigal Police Station, cops had photos of the suspects and when the victim identified one of them, they were caught within a few hours on the outskirts of Dundigal.